It couldn’t be more obvious that Donald Trump will have to battle not only Hillary Clinton but the mainstream media in the three presidential debates that start next Monday.
And it won’t just be the moderators he has to contend with. Somewhere in the vicinity of ninety percent of the pundits who will be endlessly hashing over the events afterward will be against him to one degree or another.
I have never seen such press bias against a candidate in my lifetime. Not even Nixon was this hated. Maybe if Trump were debating Bashar Assad, he’d have a chance, but even then I’m not so sure.
This includes supposedly pro-Republican Fox News, which is filled with the kind of allies that exemplify the hoary chestnut “With friends like these….”
And strangely, the closer Donald gets in the polls, the more they seem primed to stick the shiv in his back (Sean Hannity excepted, of course, and, occasionally, O’Reilly).
No wonder Trump has been agitating for a Lincoln-Douglas style debate, sans moderators. It isn’t just because these historic one-on-ones are arguably more dramatic, informative and spontaneous; they are also more equal.
Nevertheless, he never had the remotest chance of accomplishing this. Not only would Clinton refuse, the networks couldn’t possibly allow their hosts—the real and enduring stars of the occasion, never to be term-limited like mere presidents—to be superseded.
So can Trump win anyway?
I was worried, but I’m beginning to think he can—and not just because Hillary looks close to embalmed these days. They’ll obviously give her a mega-dose of B-12, a gallon of Red Bull and whatever other kind of booster, legal or illegal, her doctors can muster and shove her out there. That plus the adrenaline should keep her going for the ninety minutes. Then she can collapse until the next debate.
What Trump has going for him is an increasingly engaging personality. He seems to be mellowing before our eyes. There’s even a twinkle in his baby blues that must come from the poll numbers. He seems to be having fun and audiences like that. The winner is usually the most likable, not the one who scores the most points.
Trump isn’t even getting bogged down as easily in the tangential, what I previously referred to as his “signal to noise problem,” endlessly relitigating the trivial and getting himself into trouble.
But has he really and truly reformed? No one can say for sure, probably not even Donald, but the media troops are getting so desperate they had to resort to surfacing a new Donald Jr. tweet today, comparing Syrian refugees to Skittles, as evidence of typical Trumpian tastelessness. (“If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”)
Actually I thought Junior was kind of funny—and on point. But I’m not a particularly tasteful guy. (I laugh at the Three Stooges.)
As many are saying, the key for Trump in the debates is just to stay cool, not let Hillary get under his famously thin skin. Perhaps he should get himself a mantra like Woody Allen (Om Mani Padme Hum) or, better yet, have a terrific catch phrase like Reagan had with Jimmuh Carter, the famous “There you go again.” [corrected from Mondad, sorry]
Because Hillary, who is as tedious as it gets, is certain to “go again.” It will be the same old, same old, because, as we all know, other than attacking Donald, she doesn’t have a lot to say.
Hey, wait a minute, doesn’t that remind you of a song? Something about people who are entitled. Oh, yeah, now I remember. And it just might contain the secret to Donald’s debate success.
So, with apologies to Elizabeth who is a hundred, scratch that, a thousand times better than Hillary….
Of course, given the email fusillade emerging on Gateway Pundit, the debates may be redundant anyway.
Roger L. Simon is a prize-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His most recent book is—I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already.